Chapter 4: Eyes and Legs for the Journey
Only one who knows the decisive meaning of the knowledge contained in vedant, who purifies his inner being with sannyas and yoga and strives for brahmalok, the realm of the ultimate reality, attains it.
We will begin to enter into this sutra by understanding the meaning of a few words.
The first word is vedant. Vedant has always been thought to mean the final part of the Vedas, the upanishads where the Vedas culminate and reach to their pinnacle. But neither is this meaning very deep, nor is it correct.
Veda means knowledge. The meaning of‘vedant is the point where all knowledge has come to an end, where even the idea that you know has disappeared and only being remains. The exact meaning of vedant is the state where the restlessness of knowing has also ceased and there is only being, pure being.
To know is also a subtle tension. If you are standing near a flower and you know the flower in your usual way, this way of knowing it is a tension, a kind of restlessness. You will become tired with this type of knowing, you will become fed up. Eventually you will even want to avoid knowing because to know in this way is an action, an effort, and it is still a relationship with the other. The very meaning of this kind of knowing is that a relationship happens between the knower and the known. This bridge that happens between the knower and the object to be known is called knowledge. This knowing is simply the last restlessness, the last tension. When this knowing also drops and only being remains, in this state of being where not even a ripple of knowing arises, where there is nothing to be known, where there is not even a desire to know something, it is in this moment of absolute relaxation that vedant happens.
Vedant begins where knowledge comes to an end, where one is released even from knowledge, because deep down knowledge is also a bondage.
Try to look at this from a few different angles and then you may be able to understand it better. It will be easier to understand this by looking at other dualities. As I said yesterday, you can enter within only when you have let go of both unhappiness and happiness. This you can understand. Now try to understand exactly the same thing in relation to this duality: that when you have not only let go of ignorance, but of knowledge too, then the ultimate experience begins. As long as you have not left your knowledge behind, your ignorance too will not be left behind. Happiness and unhappiness are one duality, knowledge and ignorance are also just another duality. In other parts of the world there have been wise men who have said that ignorance has to be left behind, but it is only in this country that the wise men have said that knowledge also has to be left behind.
Vedant is the state where even knowledge has fallen away, where nothing remains to be known, where not only has ignorance disappeared, but the idea, the feeling that you know something, has also disappeared.